I am writing this a few days before Christmas. It is Amy's birthday today so she and Frances are taking a break from Christmas preparations to watch a Jane Austin movie for a couple of hours. They're sitting here "wired" sharing earphones in front of the fire with me. I have my music to myself.
Brad is over at Delvins helping Ben, Lily's father, today doing insulating. Lance is running Delvin's logging machine so that Delvin can be at home to help on his own house. Yesterday Frances and Charity made Christmas goodies here with help from Dot, Anna, Amy and I. Lovely mess and the result was 25 plates of cookies and goodies to pass out to the parents of the Children's Ministry children on the rez. That's a lot of caroling, right? But they said it was fun and went over well with everyone.
Anything can happen just before Christmas and usually does. The woods machine broke down so Elv ran to Superior for the parts yesterday afternoon, then stopped in here to ask Brad and I if we'd like to go with him to the woods since he would be working into the evening working on the machine. I gathered up the neck scarf I was crocheting for Jenny and gifts to wrap, my current reading, and computer to go with him. Brad grabbed a cedar board and his jig saw and jumped in, as well.
So while Elv took the machine apart with the aid of his collection of strong lights, Brad and I continued our Christmas projects. I sat in the cab with the interior lights on since the pickup was running all evening as Elv worked anyway, to do mine.
First thing, Brad needed me to help him draw a pattern for a rubber band gun. (To all you moms out there. Be prepared to even to help with guns now and then, being a good mom.) He wanted the shape of a hand gun to cut out with intentions to mount a clothespin on the flat top of it for the obvious purpose. He had to draw a little one to show me how it ought to look and then told me how to draw the one of proper size in a torn off flap of a cardboard box.
I finished the scarf in good time and had time to wrap the four gifts for Jenny and family. Besides I got well into a Jessamyn West novel before Elv came a verdict on the water pump.
"All the fins are gone on the pump." He had that look that guys get when something weird/bad/interesting happens to heavy equipment.
"So they're inside there somewhere." I suggested thinking about another engine one day long ago sitting by the road on Fourth Of July pass in the Bitterroot Mts. of Idaho where a little screw at the top of the engine fell down into the bowels thereof and killed it.
"Well, in the cooling system somewhere, yes."
We headed home then to solve tomorrow.
As we walked in the door the young people who had been out caroling followed us in. We must have had a dozen noisy boys and girls standing around laughing and talking. Noah was opening a box that came while he was away. He popped the air wrap noisily with plenty of good will and help from the others. You couldn't walk for the press so to speak. Most of them weren't staying and boots were dripping onto the floor giving the rest of us wet socks. We love a house full of youth at any time.
The rubber band guns turned out beautifully. When we got home Brad sanded them and had Amy help him get the clothespins glued on there while he cut a ridge to hold the rubber band taut. I wrapped them individually and labeled them. All done. I wish all Christmas creating was that easy and successful, don't you?
Gifts are adding up little by little on the lamp table in the living room. There are still more to come. The Christmas card/family pictures have not arrived. Tracking tells me where they were as of the 17th. Why should it take 4 days to get here from the cities? These particular cards are our third attempt at a family picture, to boot, and now they've evaporated. Can't win for losing!
Our little family of six will have our Christmas day on Saturday here at home. On Sunday we are to go down to Sparta to visit Mom and the Grabers for the day.